More than 7,250 members of electric cooperatives around South Carolina, including more than 550 members of York Electric Cooperative, are already helping their fellow cooperative members to reduce energy use and costs through our Beat the Peak program.
In April, the cooperatives introduced a new website to encourage more members to join in this truly cooperative effort. By joining the Beat the Peak program, you are teaming up with the co-op to save on power costs for everyone. If you’d like to join us, sign up at BeatThePeak.com.
By lowering total energy use when it is most expensive, the co-op can lower total power costs. Because electric cooperatives are not-for-profit companies, the savings can be passed on to all the co-op’s members. As BeatThePeak.com also details, here are some powerful reasons to support the effort.
First, what is Beat the Peak?
Beat the Peak is a co-op member notification system that:
- Teaches you how electricity use varies during the day and across the seasons of the year.
- Helps you understand that you can help reduce electricity use at specific times of the day across the whole electric system.
- Relates your choices about electricity use to the broader effort to control costs.
- Allows you to voluntarily sign up to receive notices of peak demand periods.
- Sends you notifications (via text, email and/or voice messages) at times when you can help reduce electricity use.
Electricity prices vary hourly?
Even though your electric rate is flat, the cost of the power we buy on your behalf does vary from hour to hour. Higher demand for electricity causes utilities to use more expensive fuels. Utilities use their most efficient and least costly generators first. Then, as electricity demand increases, utilities turn on generators that are less efficient or that use more expensive fuels. That’s why higher electricity use can mean higher costs for your cooperative. The demand for electricity is greatest between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. in winter months. In the summer, peak electricity demand occurs between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
How does it work?
Your cooperative and its power suppliers continually monitor the demand for energy. Using weather forecasts and historical energy use data, they predict when peak demand for electricity will occur.
In advance of that time, you can be notified by:
- Text message
- Voice message
During a Beat the Peak peak period, you will receive a notification asking you to take certain actions. Those actions could include:
- Adjusting your thermostat by 3 degrees.
- Turning off lights.
- Delaying the use of major appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers, until after the predicted peak demand period has passed.
- Postponing hot water use, which will delay the activation of electric water heaters.